Lavender Country Concert

Sept. 30, 2017

Patrick Haggerty, founding member of first openly gay country music group, Lavender Country, will perform with his band at Grinnell College on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.

The concert is free and open to the public. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel, 1128 Park St., Grinnell. No tickets are required.

AJ Lewis, former Grinnell College visiting professor of gender, women's and sexuality studies, will open the show with a banjo act with Lavender Country.

Grinnell College Public Events is sponsoring the concert, which is co-sponsored by Student Government Association Concerts.

In 1973, Haggerty formed the first openly gay country band. The group, called Lavender Country, released 1,000 bootleg copies of its self-titled and community-funded album. They played LGBTQ benefits and festivals for a few years and then disbanded with little fanfare.

In 1999, Lavender Country's album was archived at the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2014, a still-unknown user uploaded one of Lavender Country's songs to YouTube. Up-and-coming record label, Paradise of Bachelors, rereleased the album to enthusiastic reception.

Since then, Lavender Country is bigger than ever. The band has recently been the subject of award-winning documentaries and there is talk of a feature-length movie in the works.

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